Daniel’s Journal #18 – Everything’s a Trilogy

How long does it take to tell a story? Some can be told in a few words. Some are a punchline. Some can be summed up in a few paragraphs. Some take a lifetime.

Three is a good number. I always liked the number three. Most of what I write ends up in three pieces in my outlines. The first full-length story I ever tackled was a three-part story with three chapters apiece. I find comfort there, in the number three.

I’m rambling. I know it. You know it. Last night, I was told something I had already heard, a piece of advice about querying books to potential agents/publishers: “Everything needs to be a trilogy.”

That’s what people want. They don’t want a book. They want a series of books. Same with movies. Nobody makes standalone movies anymore. Everything is drawn out, stretched as far as it can be taken. Hell, I’m as guilty as anyone in regards to wanting more of a good thing. I’m a Marvel fan and loving their series of MCU movies. Go figure.

When you’re trying to find somewhere to publish your books, it helps to have a trilogy or series in mind and spelled out. For two of the four books I’m querying, I can say they can be expanded. I’m in Sci-Fi Hell is already long enough to be two full-length books, and I have a very strong idea for a third installment. There’s definitely a second and third Blood Drive book in me as well.

Not everything can have three stories told and not go stale, and I’m not advising you to stretch out your stories and add filler in order to encompass multiple books if it’s not necessary. But if you have that big trilogy idea, make it known. Put it out there that there’s more to come, even if it’s not yet written.

And always remember the number three.

-Daniel Aegan

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